We shouldn’t ask God for a lighter load
Published 3:58 pm Friday, January 20, 2006
We look for ways to reduce pressure. We take days off, vacations, retreats, anything to break the routine and gain relief.
It is a paradox that we are more pressured, in this age of instant information (we do not have to wonder about much) and households full of labor-saving devices, than earlier generations who seemed to have much more to worry about.
Pressure is relative. We all think we have more than anybody else, but the fact is that under the hand of the Master Planner, we all have just the amount we need. Be careful about asking God for a lighter load.
Moses was God's man for the difficult task of leading the nation of Israel from Egyptian captivity to Canaan, the Promised Land. Moses persevered through days of difficulty. The way was hard, the people complained, and Moses was pressured.
In the Old Testament book of Numbers, chapter 11, Moses had a discussion with God.
The bottom line in verse 14 was, “I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me.” Moses went on to say in verse 15, “If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now….”
God's response to Moses' plea for help was to have Moses gather seventy men of the elders of Israel to help him.
Moses gathered the seventy and brought them before the Lord at the Tabernacle. In verse 17, of Numbers, chapter 11, God said, “Then I will come down and talk with you there. I will take of the Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you.”
We do not know if God diminished the power of His Spirit that was on Moses, but we do know that a few chapters later in Numbers, chapter 20, verses 10-12, Moses made a huge mistake.
God told Moses to speak to the rock, to bring water for the people and their animals (Numbers 20:8). Instead of speaking to the rock, Moses took his staff and hit the rock twice. God said to Moses in Numbers 20, verse 12, “You did not believe Me to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel….” The consequence for Moses was that he was not allowed to enter the Promised Land.
We should not ask God for a lighter load; we should ask Him for more grace to carry the load He has given to us.
God's purpose for our lives is that we glorify Him. We glorify Him by having fruitful lives.
Jesus taught about fruitfulness in the gospel of John, chapter 15. Jesus said in verse 1, “I am the true vine and My Father is the vinedresser.” We as believers in Jesus Christ are branches attached to and admonished to abide in the true vine, Jesus Christ.
Jesus continues His teaching about God the Father being the vinedresser in verse 2. Fruitful branches are pruned so they will bring forth more fruit, while branches without fruit are taken away.
Grape growers know that grape vines must be properly stressed to produce the best tasting grapes. Grape vines are stressed by climate conditions, but are also stressed by pruning and harvesting techniques. The best grape vines are those operating under stress.
God is the master grape grower. He knows all about us as branches. He is bringing into our lives just exactly what we need to produce the fruit that will glorify Him.
We will never stop noticing the stress, but God is looking to the fruit we bear, not the stress we carry to produce the fruit.
A lighter load? “No way.” Just ask God for more grace to be fruitful, and glorify God.